Best Buy Co Inc (BBY) Tumbles As Amazon Offers Geek Squad Competitor
Best Buy Co Inc (BBY) Tumbles As Amazon Offers Geek Squad Competitor
Amazon's Geek Squad-like service installs your smart home gear
11 July, 2017, 20:25
The company notes on the service page that its experts are employees, not contractors, that they have been background-checked, and that they are "licensed and certified where applicable". This will require Amazon to curate a marketplace of independent installers, contractors, and other service professionals, much like it does in the marketplace for products.
Smart-home gadgets are one of the fastest-growing segments of the consumer electronics industry, but they can be hard to set up and integrate with each other.
Amazon is offering in-home consultations to customers interested in installing smart-home technologies.
Best Buy (BBY) shares are sinking fast following a report that Amazon (AMZN) is introducing what appears to be its own version of Best Buy's Geek Squad. Sources tell the publication that Amazon has spent the past several months hiring "an army of in-house gadget experts" in order to offer free Alexa consultations and paid product installations. Amazon says that booking with its smart home consultants can help customers find solutions and technology that work best in their home. There are also Amazon job listings for "field technicians" in cities like Tampa, Hoboken, Miami, Orlando, Houston, Dallas and Las Vegas. The installations require a fee and both services are now only available in seven markets on the West Coast: Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose and Orange County, California.
If Best Buy wasn't already aware Amazon is gunning for its business, it is now. The online retailer's latest initiative wants to bring its staffers into your home for tech support.
Whether customers actually use the service remains to be seen. Geek Squad prices vary, too: A TV installation is $150 and setting up home Wi-Fi starts at $100.
Should Amazon go after Best Buy's Geek Squad, it would be a major upset in the battle between the two retailers.
TheStreet sifted through Geek Squad's reviews on ConsumerAffairs.
Amazon is pushing Alexa as the platform of choice for smart home control, while Best Buy is promoting both Alexa and Google Home.
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